Film Review: The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

Hayao Miyazaki’s final feature The Wind Rises is a wonderfully constructed film. The animation is marvellous and the narrative enriching.

As a young boy, Jiro Horikoshi dreams of becoming a pilot and an aircraft designer, inspired by the famed Italian aeronautical engineer Giovanni Battista Caproni. As he grows up, Jiro ideas are taken on by the Japanese military…

The Wind Rises tackles a subject that provides an interesting setting. It marks a departure from recent Studio Ghibli films in that it concentrates on a more mature and less whimsical topic. The story of Jiro is an engaging one thanks to its historical context. It is a personal story, but one that increasingly has a wider importance.

The Wind Rises weaves in historical aspects into its narrative. The pre-World War II setting offers an insight into Japan. Moreover, the film sheds light on a figure who is not widely known, yet whose designs had a significant impact.

Miyazaki’s film is very much a paean to dreaming. This is illustrated by the Caproni sequences dotted throughout the film. The Wind Rises very much reinforces the necessity for dreaming, and the outcomes this achieves. It is a lovely message.

Less successful is the film’s romance strand. Whilst it gives Jiro’s character more depth and the film more drama, it is not as engaging as the central narrative. The running time of The Wind Rises could have been trimmed down slightly, as there are a few occasions when momentum feels slack.

The animation in The Wind Rises is excellent, as most would expect from Studio Ghibli. The landscapes and backgrounds in particular demonstrate a real artistry. The soundtrack is a fitting accompaniment for the mood of the film.

The Wind Rises is a fitting final film from Hayao Miyazaki, with the parallels between Jrio’s dreaming and that of filmmaking all too clear.

Stuff To Look At

A treasure trove of film-related goodness this week, including X-Men: Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow and Godzilla

X-Men Days of Future Past

Here is a new featurette for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. Wolverine is one of a host of characters returning from the original X-Men film series. X-Men: Days of Future Past is released in UK cinemas on 22nd May 2014.

Love, Rosie

Above is a teaser trailer for new comedy Love, Rosie. Starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, the film centres on the friendship of Rosie and Alex who go and study in the US together. Love, Rose is scheduled for release in October 2014.

Godzilla

Show us Godzilla! Listening to director Gareth Edwards talk about the monster in his upcoming blockbuster makes me all the more eager to see it. Godzilla hits the big screen on 15th May 2014.

Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is something rather extraordinary. A fictional film made with the same group of actors over a twelve year period, Boyhood is certainly something to look out for. The film is released on 11th July 2014.

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow Poster

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in action adventure Edge of Tomorrow. The film seems like it fits into both Cruise and Blunt’s fairly recent predilection for science fiction. Edge of Tomorrow is released in UK cinemas on 30th May 2014.

22 Jump Street

As silly as it is, I am not going to deny that I laughed at this clip. 21 Jump Street was a very entertaining picture, so I am hoping that its sequel will deliver more of the same. 22 Jump Street is released in UK cinemas on 6th June 2014.

In Secret

Here is a clip from upcoming period drama In Secret. Set in 1860s Paris, the film stars Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton and Oscar Isaac. An adaption of Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin, In Secret hits cinemas on 16th May 2014.

If I Stay

If I Stay is a romantic drama starring Chloe Grace Moretz. The film is based on the 2009 novel of the same name. I am not familiar with it, but I presume it is popular with the kids. If I Stay is due for release later this year.

The Wind Rises

Hayao Miyazaki’s farewell picture is a wonderful ode to dreaming. The Wind Rises continues Studio Ghibli’s tradition for superb animation. The film is released on 9th May 2014.